There are lots of habits out there that are addicting and I believe email can sabotage productivity almost as much as other ones.

I found a great article at the site What’s Best Next by Matt Perman about why you shouldn’t check your email continually.

In it he compares email to taking out the trash continually.  If we did that how productive would or day really be?

If you are checking your email continually throughout the day.  You are basically multitasking the whole day.  And we all know by now how ineffective we are when we multitask.

Did you know when you switch tasks it takes you at least 15 minutes to get back on task?  How many times do you check your email?

Let’s say you check your email at the minimum 8 times.  That is basically 2 hours you are wasting.  How unproductive your day must be because we know it takes at least 15-30 minutes on any task to get “into the zone” of productivity.  So basically if you are checking email that much you are not getting the most out of everyday.  You are spending half your day either checking email, thinking about email, or trying to get back on task.

So instead of leaving your email program up. Do the following

Don’t Be an Email Addict
Make your email work for you on your time.  Schedule times throughout the day when you are going to check it.  At the most 4 times

Train Your Contacts
Let everyone know what time you check your email so there is not unrealistic expectations placed on you.  For that matter, email your whole list and let them know you are now only checking your email at certain times of the day, and tell them the times.

Set out chunks of time for your big tasks.  Especially right away in the morning.  Accomplish your biggest task right away and the rest of the day will be a breeze.  Don’t pollute the big ideas with small ones that come through email.

Take your email by the horns and don’t let it enslave you.  There are only so many minutes in a day.  Don’t waste them checking and rechecking your email.